Louisiana State Troopers are investigating a car accident that left one man dead and an off-duty Slidell Police officer injured. The accident occurred Sunday at 7:10 a.m. on Highway 433, just east of Interstate 10 in Slidell.
According to a Louisiana State Police Troop L spokesperson, 31-year-old off-duty Slidell Police Officer John Cole, was driving an SUV west on Hwy 433. For unknown reasons, Cole veered to the right and drove off of the roadway, while maneuvering around a left curve. Cole lost control of the vehicle before it crashed into a ditch and overturned. According to investigators, Cole was not properly restrained and was brought to LSU Hospital in New Orleans with serious injuries.
Cole's passenger, identified as 31-year-old Daniel Hanlon, suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead on the scene by the St. Tammany Parish Coroner's Office. Detectives believe that Cole was impaired and samples of his blood were collected for testing. The results of those tests and charges are pending. The crash remains under investigation.
The Slidell Police Department released the following statement Sunday evening:
Early this morning Slidell Police were notified that an off-duty officer was involved in a fatal car crash on Highway 433. The officer, who was identified as John Cole, was rushed the hospital with life threatening injuries. The passenger of the vehicle, Daniel Hanlon, was pronounced dead at the scene.
This situation has devastated the entire Slidell Police Department; as many officers were close with both John Cole and Daniel Hanlon. All we can ask for, at this time, are prayers for the friends and families of those involved with this tragic accident. John Cole is currently listed in critical condition. We will keep everyone updated as more information is obtained.